Amerila astreus (Drury, 1773)
(erroneously known as Rhodogastria astraea)
ARCTIINAE,   ARCTIIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Amerila astreus
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

This Caterpillar is green with rows of black verrucae having short white hair tufts. The tufts are longer on the the second, third, and penultimate abdominal segments. The head is yellow.

The caterpillar lives under a leaf of its foodplant, and has been found feeding on a variety of plants including:

  • Marsdenia ( APOCYNACEAE ),
  • Dioscorea ( DIOSCORACEAE ),
  • Ixora ( RUBIACEAE ), and
  • Smilax ( SMILACACEAE ).

    Amerila astreus
    drawing by Dru Drury, listed as Glaucopis astreas
    ,
    Illustrations of Exotic Entomology, Volume II (1773), Plate XXVIII, fig. 4,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The adult moth has forewings that are translucent, each with a black dot at the base, a vaguely rectangular fawn area near the middle, and a larger fawn area at the wingtip. The hindwings are off-white with dark wingtips. The head and thorax are white with two black spots on each segment. The abdomen and legs are scarlet.

    The eggs are round, pale yellow, and covered in tiny pits. The eggs are laid singly on leaves of a foodplant.

    The species is found across south-eastern Asia, including

  • Borneo,
  • India,
  • Malaysia,
  • Papua,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Dru Drury,
    in John Obadiah Westwood:
    Figures and Descriptions of Foreign Insects,
    Illustrations of Exotic Entomology,
    Volume 2 (1773), p. 53,, and Plate 28, fig. 4.

    George F. Hampson,
    A Catalogue of the Heterocera of Sikhim,
    Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society,
    Volume 14, Part 3 (1902), p. 553, No. 1256.


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    (written 2 September 2017)